Argan oil protects the hair shaft from breakage, allowing hair to lengthen. This was proven in a 2013 experiment.
The hair protection capability of argan kernel oil as a hair conditioning agent was investigated in a study conducted by Faria et al (2013) on Caucasian hair post treatment with hair dye. In this experiment, dyed hair was washed, left to dry and then a conditioner was applied to the hair tresses at a ratio of 1:0.5 (hair: formulation).
The hair protective effect was measured by quantifying protein loss. It was observed that argan oil, added to a base formulation resulted in a reduction in protein loss compared to that of the base formulation. The observed decrease in protein loss was attributed to reduction in swelling of the cuticle owing to the hydrophobic nature of argan oil, whose 2 main fatty acid constituents are oleic acid (46-48%) and linoleic acid (31-35%).
From this study, Faria et al (2013) concluded that argan oil has hair protective properties, a quality which has positioned it as a key hair ingredient (Guillaume and Charrouf, 2011).
Although very few articles are published about the effect or benefits of vegetable oils on human hair, it is known that regular application reduces hair breakage by lubricating the hair shaft (Dias, 2015). By nourishing and revitalising the scalp, argan oil restores hairs natural softness and silkiness (Guillaume and Charrouf, 2011). In addition, mixing argan oil with other vegetable oils or other cosmetic ingredients may enhance its properties (Guillaume and Charrouf, 2011).
Modern-day commercial preparations (shampoos, moisturisers and industrial cosmetic products) contain linseed oil and silicones in addition to argan oil (Madnani & Khan, 2013). Traditionally however, argan oil was applied topically to fight dry hair and to prevent hair loss. It must be noted though, that properties attributed to its topical application lack scientific evidence (Charrouf and Guillaume, 2011).
- Dias, M.F., Hair Cosmetics: An Overview, International Journal Of Trichology, 2015; 7(1):2-15
- Guillaume, D. and Charrouf, Z., Argan Oil, Alternative Medicine Review, 2011; 16(3):275-279
- Guillaume, D. and Charrouf, Z., Argan Oil And Other Argan Products: Use In Desmocosmetology, European Journal of Lipid Science and Technology, 2011; 113:403-408
- Faria, P.M., Carmago, L.N., Carvalho, R.S.H., Paludetti, L.A., Velasco, M.V.R, Miranda da Gama, R., Hair Protective Effect Of Argan Oil (Argania spinosa Kernel Oil) and Cupuassu Butter (Theobroma grandiflorum Seed Butter) Post Treatment With Hair Dye, Journal Of Cosmetics, dermatological Science And Applications, 2013;3:40-44
- Madnani, N and Khan, K., Hair Cosmetics, Indian Journal of Dermatology, Venereology and Leprology, 2013; 79(5):654-667